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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

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My Diaper Bag Isn't Perfect

While pregnant with my newest addition, I watched a video online of a mom who easily packed her very small diaper bag with her two kids’ cloth diapers and all the essentials she needed for a day out. After that video, I was convinced that finding and filling my diaper bag with cloth diapering essentials would be easy, painless, and fun. While I was still pregnant, we decided to cloth diaper and I jumped in feet-first. I made all the initial purchases of cloth diapers, cloth wipes, diaper spray, wetbags, snappies, and more. In order to carry all of this stuff, I then set out to find a diaper bag that would fit my needs. I now have a newborn in cloth diapers and a (mostly) toilet-trained four year old. Since my older child use ‘sposies, we had a pretty small diaper bag for him so I knew the diaper bag for my new baby would need to be bigger and better in order to hold all my cute fluff, as well as some basics for my older kid. I set out to find the perfect diaper bag. I thought it would be just as fun as picking out all the cute fluffy stuff!

Admittedly, I purchased (and then returned) at least half a dozen diaper bags, searching for the perfect bag that fit all of my criteria. I didn’t think my list was that long: 1) outside pocket(s) for cell phone, keys, and wallet; 2) long pocket across the back of the bag to hold the diaper changing mat; 3) big enough on the inside to hold at least four cloth diapers, wipes, and a wetbag; 4) have a long shoulder strap AND short handles; 5) be gender neutral (we didn’t know the gender of our baby before he was born AND my husband would also be carrying the bag so it would need to fit any and all situations). I would shop and find a bag that seemed to fit my criteria and bring the bag home to test it. I would pile up everything I wanted to put into the bag, then try to stuff it all in the bag and see if it fit while still being functional. In addition to the diapers and accessories I would need to carry, I also needed to fit in a receiving blanket, burp rag, a small container of disposable wipes, an outfit change and an extra pair of socks for the baby, and anything else I thought I would need for a day out. I’m a chronic over-packer so I tried really hard to only pack the absolute essentials.

My baby is now eight weeks old and I have committed to a diaper bag. It’s not perfect, but for now it’s working. It’s army green so it’s essentially gender neutral and as a bonus, it hides dirt and poop that happens to get on it; it has a long shoulder strap and short handles which makes it easy to carry in any situation; it has a large back pocket for my changing mat; it has plenty of outside pockets for my wallet, keys, cell phone, and a few extras; and it has adequate inside space. The bag isn’t perfect (I don’t think I’ll *ever* be able to find the perfect bag) but it works pretty well. I’ve carried four pocket diapers, two prefolds, and a cover in the bag along with a wetbag, half a dozen cloth wipes, a four-ounce bottle of diaper spray, two receiving blankets, a burp rag, a small travel case of wipes, two onesies, two pairs of socks, a package of “pacifier wipes,” my wallet, my cellphone, my car keys, and a 20 ounce water bottle. I’ve also recently started carrying a ring sling in the bag as well. It’s certainly a tight squeeze and the bag doesn’t always zip closed, but it fits. If I ever two babies in cloth diapers or stop breastfeeding and have to carry bottles and formula….well, maybe I’ll just have to go diaper bag shopping again!

Angela is a lucky mom to two amazing sons: a newborn and a four year old. Living in a small town that isn't cloth diaper friendly, Angela spends a lot of time online researching cloth diapers and trying to convince her husband to buy "just one more cloth diaper" to try out.


Hannah said...

I have 2 in cloth/sposies and the only thing that is CLOSE to perfect and its not, is a backpack. I still have trouble with it but it is a little easier. They at least come in many sizes and have tons of pockets. The one i have has 2 big back ones, a medium one and a small one, and 2 side pockets. Its working for now. I am still on the hunt for the "perfect" bag. When you find one, please let me know :).

Anonymous said...

What bag did you go with???

abinormal said...

I have a 2 year old still using her cloth diapers, and a new baby on the way. I have a JuJuBe Be Prepared (about the biggest bag there is), and when we go out I pretty much fill the thing. I like to overpack.

Meagan said...

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE my Vera Bradley Baby bag. I tried everything from a petunia picklebottom bag to a simple tote and this is the only bag that fit TEN (yes, really) cloth diapers (best bottom brand) and cloth wipes+spray, wet bag,extra clothes, my wallet and a bottle of water.

I breastfeed, so no bottles really help.

It also comes with a changing pad, outside zipper, 6 inside pockets, and 5 outside pockets. It really is a lifesaver. I think the only downside is it isn't very dad friendly, but my hubbs doesn't mind because he is just proud of his little girl :o)

Pamelaka said...

We have a 2yr old and an 8 1/2 mo old, both in cloth. A backpack works best for everyone. 2 sets of clothes for each, 2-4 diapers each, wipes, mat, burp cloth/receiving blankets, emergency meds, snacks, bottles/sippy, spoons, wet bag, hats, etc. Good luck!

Jen said...

I have an Eddie Bauer green tote bag that is awesome and roomy for an all day outing.Long strap and short straps, heavy duty canvas outer. HUGE inner. I can fit nearly 10 prefolds and 4 or5 five covers, extra outfits, toys, blankie, baggie with wipes, etc on the inside. Outside has a ton of pockets for keys, bottles, hairbrush, etc. I LOVE this bag. I will be sad if it ever dies.
I just have a messenger bag with a couple of AIO, a toy and and extra outfit for a quick run to the store or something.

Cassie S. said...

Which bag is it? I still haven't found the perfect fit for my prefolds.

Willow said...

The picture looks like the skip hop bento. Is that what you use?

Anonymous said...

I actually use a Timbuktu messenger bag. It holds EVERYTHING. It meets all of the criteria you listed above, with plenty of pockets for all of the essentials. I don't think it is intended to be a diaper bag, but for a cloth diapering momma, it works great without being too monstrous. I love it. :)